Making luxury easy in Calgary
By Cheryl Long
Trickle Creek makes designing and building your own home look easy. In fact, simplifying the process for their customers is one of the driving forces behind the up-and-coming Calgary-based home builder.
If the simple flow chart on their web site is any indication, working with Trickle Creek Designer Homes is one of the more seamless and stress-free ways to both envision and then move into the home of your dreams. It all starts with an email or phone call, followed by choice of location, home design, interior selections, construction and then the much-anticipated walk through the front door. And it doesn’t end there. The builder’s extensive service and warranty program ensures that customers are still thrilled with their new homes months after they’ve settled in. There’s a reason why “We make it easy” is the company’s tagline.
“What we do with our customers is unique. We spend a lot of time with them on their vision and then we go away and do all the hard work and then come back and make sure that vision is realized,” said company president Michael Tew.
Trickle Creek is a small home builder, focusing on custom designs that offer a feeling of luxury and fine quality. Started in 2006 by Tew, the company stepped into the market just as it was entering a significant downturn. But by being smaller, leaner and unique compared to their competitors, Trickle Creek was able to find business opportunities at a time when many established companies were struggling to stay afloat.
Strong team is part of company’s success
Building a strong team and culture was one of Tew’s first priorities and he began bringing together people who were not only skilled at their jobs, but truly enjoyed their work and were excited to come into the Trickle Creek office each day.
“We definitely hire very specific individuals that fit within that culture that are willing to work as a team and help out wherever they can,” he said. “We often have our internal staff on a job site, helping clean or do whatever it takes to get homes ready for our customers. Everybody is willing to go out of their way to help out wherever they can.”
Every company experiences its share of hits and misses, but at Trickle Creek they’re more often viewed as opportunities for learning. It’s part of the culture — willing to push the envelope through an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration, and ultimately driving the company to grow and improve.
In the early days, securing sales in a luxury home market was initially challenging, Tew explained, but the numbers steadily began to climb. They built one home in 2006, three the following year, seven in 2008 and then jumped to 15 in 2009. Since that time, they’ve averaged 20 homes each year; a number that allows them to confidently offer a consistent level of service and quality that is the foundation of Trickle Creek’s growing reputation as a high-level builder.
Limited construction means higher quality
“We’ve limited ourselves to the 20 homes a year just to ensure we can manage and do a great job on every home,” Tew said. “We work hard to make sure we have enough staff and enough team members to provide exceptional service to our clients at every touchpoint.”
“We’re not looking to do 100 homes a year. It’ not about, at the end of the day, just making money. It’s about creating a product that we can be proud of and that our whole team is proud of every time we hand over somebody’s dream home.”
And dream homes they certainly are. It takes only a few minutes spent navigating through the company’s web site to soon realize that a Trickle Creek residence is something special. These are far from the cookie cutter models found in many new subdivisions; instead, each exterior is a stunningly unique design ranging from eye-catching stone facades to ultra-modern architecture. The interiors could be taken from the pages of the most prestigious home design magazines with their sleek lines, sophisticated neutral tones and features that would be the envy of any home owner. From floor-to-ceiling wine cellars, natural light-infused ensuite bathrooms and upscale kitchens guaranteed to inspire the inner chef, Trickle Creek is turning their clients’ dreams into reality.
Several Calgary communities are home to Trickle Creek projects, including the acreage communities of Deer Creek, Silverhorn and Hawk’s Landing, the large estate lots found in Aspen Heights, and Watermark at Bearspaw, an executive estate community just outside Calgary’s city limits. Trickle Creek’s Inner City models are ideal for those who “don’t do suburbs” and prefer a very contemporary look. Of course, there is always the option of building on your own piece of land or having Trickle Creek find the ideal location for your new residence.
“We’re unique in that we will design and build a home for our customers right from scratch,” Tew said. “We’re set up to do this with designers and architects on hand and we work through that process with our customers from day one…”
Today’s home buyers know what they want
What comes with the company’s high level of customer service is an understanding that today’s home buyer is a much more savvy consumer with a keen awareness of what makes a home unique in both appearance and quality. They don’t hesitate to do their research, using sites like the popular Houzz online home design platform to discover new trends and products. One of those trends is an increase in home automation, Tew said, and as the price starts to come down, its popularity is on the rise.
“A typical customer can spend $10,000 to $15,000 on their home for that sort of thing and get a theatre as well as automated lights and smart home features that weren’t attainable even six or seven years ago,” Tew explained.
Adapting to their customer’s needs, which can often mean incorporating some of the market’s more innovative techniques and products, is one of the ways that Trickle Creek is striving to build better homes each day. Their focus: to be the best builder they can and do a great job every time.
“It’s a relationship with the customer and we have to be attentive to what they need,” Tew said, “and it’s a relationship that lasts two years. When customers choose their builders, they definitely need to be aware of that.”
To learn more about Trickle Creek Designer Homes and view some of their luxury designs, visit www.tricklecreekhomes.ca. Houzz users can enjoy a closer look at Trickle Creek’s stunning interiors by going to www.houzz.com/pro/tricklecreekcustomhomes/trickle-creek-custom-homes.